Review: Practical Jokes Are Taken Too Far in ‘I’m Just F*cking With You’

I'm Just Fucking With You
Credit: Blumhouse Television / Hulu

Last October Blumhouse television and Hulu premiered a new anthology series called Into the Dark. The series consists of 12 episodes all dropping once a month and revolving around the holiday correlated with this month.This year, SXSW got a little piece of that darkness. Debuting the seventh installment, “I’m Just Fucking With You,” the April fools joke to end all April fools’ jokes. The horror comedy, led by director, Adam Mason, is one wild ride. The audience didn’t know whether to laugh or cry during some of the incredibly intense scene, but it was fun nonetheless.

I’m Just Fucking With You is a story about an uptight Larry (played by Keir O,Donnell), is going to a family wedding that he doesn’t want to attend. He tells his sister, Rachel, (played by Jessica McNamee),  he isn’t ready to see the family and will be staying at a seedy motel. He also has a secret. One that makes him feel pretty powerful even though his life is shit. Rachel tells him she will come join him. Larry, a seemingly crazy neat freak finds himself the butt of all of Chester’s jokes. Just when you think things are going to get bad… I’m just fucking with you hits you with the punchline, “I’m just fucking with you man.” Although things at the motel are strange they seem tobe okay, that is until they aren’t. Larry and his sister endure a night of frightening practical jokes that seem to get darker and more violent as the night goes on. Are they being set up? Or is this just a twisted game of a serious practical joker?

The cast in this film is incredible. It can be hard to pull off a horror comedy but they pull it off with ease. Hays MacArthur, Chester the night manger, plays a hilarious, sadistic asshole who comes across as someone who just likes to have a good time. But doesn’t like it when someone can’t take a joke. At the Q&A after the film, MacArthur said, “Doing comedy is what I do, but it was really fun being a serial killer. I haven’t done that before. Adam (Mason) and the team also gave us a lot of room to explore these characters which was nice. Although it was funny to have him come around and softly say, “Ok maybe just sub the knife in his ear a little more next time.” It could have been his accent or just that he is such a nice guy giving direction like that.” Another comment MacArthur made and we hear it time and time again is that comedy and horror aren’t that much different. You are still trying to pull that emotion out of someone. The audience agreed that MacArthur was definitely able to do that. 

The aesthetic of the film was great. Even though the movie had an underlying dark feel it was pretty colorful. The neon lights from the motel sign seemed to always loom over every seen. The choice of using bright colors at night was great choice. You wanted to feel good but you just couldn’t. Rachel McNamee talked about the set. “ The motel was great. Adam and the crew had the entire set lit and ready to go so every time we went to shoot we just went to work. We didn’t ever have to worry about whether or not we were in the wrong place. It was actually like being in theater.” Adam Mason elaborated on the set, “We wanted to do that to give the actors more freedom. Because everything was lit ahead of time it gave the actors more room to explore and because of that we got so much extra footage that we were able to use.”

Adam Mason greeted the audience before they screen “I’m Just Fucking With You.” He said that he really just wanted to have fun with this. Blumhouse and Hulu gave him a lot of freedom so he wanted to explore that. He wanted the audience to have fun too. I will say that there was probably as much laughing as the was cringing and there was a lot of cringing. “I’m Just Fucking With You” comes out this April and it is insane to say the least. By the end of it you honestly don’t know who to root for. If you haven’t seen any of the other movies from the anthology series this is the one to watch. And after you are done watching it, go back and check out all of the rest of the rest from Into the Dark.

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